Pune got the opportunity to host 7 Indian Premier League (IPL) games as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) home matches.
The matches were shifted to Pune from Chennai due to political tensions over Cauvery water dispute. Widespread protests were being held in Chennai for the same and the protestors had been demanding the IPL to be ousted from the city in such fragile times.
A group of protestors who had come in for the first home game at the Chepauk threw in shoes at the players.
The franchise selected Pune as their new den because CSK’s skipper MS Dhoni has the experience of leading the side on that ground. During the time of suspension of CSK, Dhoni played for Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) where Pune was their home ground.
Pune was scheduled to host 2 play matches this season on 23rd May and 25th May.
However, BCCI is now considering shifting the playoff matches from Pune to Lucknow. A BCCI official revealed that the capacity of Lucknow stadium is the reason behind it. The official also clarified that the venues are yet to be finalized and Kolkata and Rajkot are also the contenders.
“What works in Lucknow’s favour is the huge crowd capacity (around 50,000) of the stadium in that city. However, we haven’t finalized this yet. Rajkot and Kolkata are also in the running. We’ll send an (IMG) team to Lucknow on Tuesday, and should be able to take a call later that day.”The BCCI official said as quoted by the cricket country.
Earlier, there were reports that Lucknow will host some matches of IPL this season. In 2006, Apple CEO Tim Cook was seen watching an IPL match in the city. This speaks volumes about the city’s public appeal which can be used to decide the venue for playoffs.
Rajkot is one of the contenders to host the playoff matches. Recently, BCCI secretary, Niranjan Shah, who is a member of the Saurashtra Cricket Associated (SCA), expressed his desire to host the playoff matches in Rajkot. The city was the home ground of Gujarat Lions (GL) who participated in the 9th and 10th season of IPL.